How does mRC-3D play
key role in economy drive?

Bringing their printing presses into the line with the ongoing quality and efficiency improvement, Ohio-based daily The Columbus Dispatch has installed 124 mRC-3D cameras from Q.I. Press Controls in their printing plant. Now, two years on, the system is operating in full capacity and has led the newspaper to significant saving in cost and waste. Get a glimpse of this success story.

Barely two years ago, as part of a face-lifting exercise, The Columbus Dispatch decided to adapt its printing presses to enable them to print in 3V format. The ultimate aim was to enhance quality and efficiency in outputs. At the time, the newspaper was the first in the US to introduce mRC-3D from Q.I. Press Controls. Their printing plant in Ohio installed a total of 124 mRC-3D cameras. Today, within the span of a couple of years, The Columbus Dispatch is living up to their expectations that has brought in sizeable savings in terms of the cost of production and waste, which gives Q.I. Press Controls yet another reason to take pride in its automated solutions.

Developmental phases
The Columbus Dispatch is the name of the organisation cum the newspaper which goes by the same name and they have several other titles and an online platform. It was in 1871 that ten master printers decided that the city of Columbus should have its own evening paper. The first ever edition of what was then called The Daily Dispatch was published on July 1, 1871. In the turbulent years in between, The Columbus Dispatch has become the most prominent newspaper in the region and since 1985 it has been the only major daily in Columbus.

Explaining about the organisation’s focus, Kelly Cline, production general manager, The Columbus Dispatch, explained, “The overarching objective is the continuous improvement of our product for our readers. Our aims are to minimise waste and to continue improving print quality so that our oper a tors can devote their at tention to other aspects of optimising production.” In 2013, this focus led to a completely new editorial model and advertising strategy. The organisation decided to fit out its four TKS newspaper printing presses for a more compact layout, otherwise known as the 3V format. This is 40 percent smaller than the original format.

The organisation added four new folders to the presses so that it was possible to fold and cut the newspaper length three times per overall cylinder circumference, instead of twice. This modification resulted in 24 pages of print, rather than 16, per overall cylinder rotation. The presses were converted in such a way that they were able to print both the normal format as well as the 3V. These modifications resulted in an increase in printing capacity.

Searching for automation
As part of the on going developments, The Columbus Dispatch also went in search of the solutions for automatic colour and cut-off register. First and foremost, it was necessary for these systems to work with the 3V format, and secondly, for waste and start-up times to be reduced as much as possible. Last but not least, increased and error-free print quality through an improved and consistent register was a precondition. Personnel at The Columbus Dispatch were already acquainted with suppliers of register systems, amongst them was Q.I. Press Controls.

After some thorough research, Q.I. Press Controls was singled out for the installation of its colour and cut-off register on the presses. In this, Kelly decided, “Q.I. Press Controls’ system was picked for its ease-of-use, its reputation and the self-cleaning lenses on the cameras. During a fact-finding mission to a plant that had also been fitted with a similar Q.I. Press Controls’ system, it soon became clear that they were extremely satisfied. This was a great help in arriving at our decision.” Today, the newspaper has gathered pace in terms of wider coverage, larger readership and high-end equipments in its production p lan t. The 124 mRC-3D cameras meet the requirements of The Columbus Dispatch’s editorial model in full.

Landmark installations
The 124 mRC-3D cameras for colour and cut-off control at The Columbus Dispatch’s plant came with optional AIMS (Automatic Ink Mist Shield) and Side-lay ribbon control. Unique to this system is the functionality of pre-setting the cut-off compensators. When a print run is loaded, all compensators are programmed to minimise waste.

The engineers installed the cameras on four TKS newspaper printing presses with a total of 20 towers and four folders. It proved possible to implement this large project whilst normal newspaper production continued. For Q.I. Press Controls this represents an important order, not just in terms of size, but also because this is the first US customer.

Now that The Columbus Dispatch gets elated to the quality of the product and the fast switch-over times that the automated system facilitates; in their view, mRC-3D cameras are so convenient and their presses are a lot easier to manage, allowing them to work even more effectively. The system reduces waste, saves time and ensures customer satisfaction and development. Kelly conclusively asserted that the system meets all their expectations and they believe in seeing yet more results in the future.


  Next ›› Top